"If you could have done it by yourself, you would have done it by now."  -Pat Williams

Q: How does the whole coaching thing work? 

A:  You want something to be different and the first step is to clarify exactly what that is. After you fill out a few assessments, we work together to co-create a plan, which consists of new behaviors, goals and commitments, as well as explore potential obstacles and limiting beliefs. Then it's just a process of closing the gap from where you are and where you really want to be. We meet weekly and at the end of each session we agree on what steps you'll take that week. You'll either succeed at taking those steps, or you won't. When you do, we spend part of the next session celebrating the win, learning about what worked and building on the momentum. When you don't succeed, we learn from what happened and come at it again from a new angle. We repeat this process of action and learning until you reach each goal.

Q: What kind of person hires a coach?

A: I coach smart successful people who know enough to be healthier and happier than they currently are. I coach people who want to thrive, but realize that they don't have the energy to keep doing it all. I coach people who have good intentions but life just keeps getting in the way. Whether it's because of life transition, out of balance priorities or too much stress, many of my clients feel burned out and have fallen into patterns of skipping exercise and self-care practices, emotional eating and plane old not living up to their potential. They know it doesn't have to be this way and they're ready to make a change.

Q: Do you only coach people around health and wellness goals?

A: No, I coach a wide variety of people with all kinds goals and interests. I am trained and certified as a "life coach" and also have a background and degree in health and wellness. There are all kinds of coaches, including relationship coaches, career coaches, executive coaches and wellness coaches but at the core, all coaching is "life coaching". Many of my clients do come with health related concerns such as high stress or weight loss and although I'm qualified to address these concerns directly, sessions typically revolve around how to operate more effectively as a person and how to get the most out of life. Excess weight and stress are symptoms that usually go away once new internal capacities are gained and the underlying limiting beliefs and habits are addressed.

Q: How does "virtual coaching" work?

A: Although I may occasionally see San Diego based clients in person, the majority of my clients live in other states. My clients are busy people who appreciate not having another appointment to drive to. Virtual coaching can be done at your convenience from wherever you are using the phone, skype or Mac FaceTime. We typically use an online coaching platform, email and text messages for questions, inspiration and accountability between sessions. All of my virtual coaching clients have come to appreciate the freedom in our "long distance relationship".

Q: How long does it take to see results?

A: Change takes time and anywhere between eight to twelve weeks seems to be a sweet spot for feeling real shifts and progress. After this amount of time you will have typically gone through all of the highs and lows of your personal emotional/ behavioral cycle, giving us a chance to work with the entire spectrum of who you are --the highs and the lows.

Q: Do I have to do homework?

A: Having your own "home practice" is critical for your long term success. The real growth comes from the actions you take and the insights revealed between our sessions, but don't worry, we will create these home practices together. Some clients do better taking baby steps and collecting small wins. Other clients thrive when facing outrageous goals. I will occasionally give you special challenges and you can always decline or counteroffer. If you don't do that weeks home practice, there is no guilt or shame involved, just more learning.

Q: Do I have to meditate?

A: Regular mindfulness meditation has been found to be an extremely powerful practice for growth and transformation. I request that all my clients make some kind of commitment to mindfulness meditation as well as writing in a journal and doing some form of physical exercise- even if it's 5 minutes a day. I'm happy to teach you how to meditate and I also have guided audio meditations available as an option.

Q: Is coaching like therapy?

A: Coaching is to therapy what personal training is to physical therapy. Coaching is rooted in some of the same principles as therapy but has it's distinctions. Therapy asks "why" you are the way you are where coaching asks "how" you could grow into more of who you really are. Coaching assumes that we all have a certain degree of "normal neurosis" as part of the human condition but that at our core, each of us is naturally creative, resourceful and whole. Rather than dig into the past, we start right where you're at in the present moment and design your future from here. It's been said that therapy focuses on taking someone from -5 to 0 where coaching takes someone from 0 to +5. In the case of my clients, it's often from +5 to +10!

Q: What is "Mindfulness Based Health" Coaching? 

A: It is a coaching model that I personally developed over the last 14 years that integrates all of the most current research and evidence based practices from Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Eating, Positive Psychology, Behavioral Medicine, Health Psychology, Coaching Psychology and Eastern Philosophy. The focus is on making healthy lifestyle change through cultivating internal strengths and building external structures.

Q: Can you coach my friend, family member or significant other?

A: Yes, but only if they want to be coached. Not even the best coach in the world can force someone to change who isn't ready. If you want to refer someone to coaching, feel free to send them to my website or have them send me an email. I would even be willing to set up a free consultation to see if we're a match.

Q: What will I get out of doing a "free consultation"?

A: Like any relationship, we have to have a kind of "chemistry" . You need to trust me and I need to believe in your potential. The free consultation is a great way to get to know each other. I get a feel for what you want and you get a sample of the way I work. There is no pressure to continue if you're not feeling it. Chances are, if it's not working for you, it's not working for me either. As the saying goes, when you know, you know! I have a special connection with each one of my clients that makes our work together rich and exciting.